Best baby and toddler travel gear

Travel crib?  Travel stroller?  Travel high chair?  Here’s what you’re really going to need when traveling with a baby or a toddler.  And before you pull out your credit card, try to borrow.  There’s no reason we all have to buy all this crap.

ESSENTIAL BABY TRAVEL GEAR

1.  A travel crib (or bed)

Unless you’re going somewhere, like the Four Seasons, or grandma’s house, where you know the crib and bedding are going to be perfect, it’s really best to BYO (for a complete list of our recommendations, check out Best Portable Cribs for Travel).

Phil and Ted’s Nest Bed
0-6 months car travel, air travel | lightweight, inexpensive

A pop-up baby bassinet and baby gear bag in one.  You're welcome.
A pop-up baby bassinet and baby gear bag in one. You’re welcome.

Lotus Travel Crib
0-3 years car travel, air travel | lightweightsimple assembly

15-second set up, even if you're jet lagged or shellshocked from flying with kids.
15-second set up, even if you’re jet lagged or, you know, shellshocked from flying with kids.

2.  A lightweight stroller

That Rolls Royce of a full-featured stroller that you love to death at home?  Has no business going on your family vacation.  You need something small and nimble (for a complete list of our recommendations, check out Best Travel Strollers).

Maclaren Mark II
sitting upright-5 years |  car travel, air travel lightweight

MacLaren is the undisputed leader in lightweight strollers, and this is their lightest ever.
MacLaren is the undisputed leader in lightweight strollers, and this is their lightest ever.  You might even be able to carry it on.

Joovy Groove Ultralight
sitting upright-5 yearscar travel, air travel | comfortable, reclining

A great option when you need something relatively lightweight that is comfortable and reclines.
A great option when you need something relatively lightweight that is comfortable and reclines.

3.  A baby carrier

A stroller is all very well once you actually get to your destination, but if you’re traveling by air?  You’d be crazy not to bring a lightweight baby carrier.  Hands-free, baby.

BABYBJORN Baby Carrier Original
newborn-25 pounds | air travel | hands free

Soft cotton for baby's chin and thighs, plus it's the easiest to put on unassisted.
Soft cotton won’t irritate baby’s chin and thighs.  Also, it’s the easiest carrier to put on unassisted.

4.  A travel booster seat

If your kids are under four, you’re likely bringing your own carseat — and you should.  But what if you’re traveling by air, and just need a booster seat for a taxi ride or two?

BubbleBum Inflatable Booster Seat
4-11 (40-100 pounds) | air travel | lightweight, inexpensive

There when you need it.  Deflated and stuffed into your luggage or carry on when you don't.
There when you need it. Deflated and stuffed into your luggage or carry on when you don’t.

5.  A travel harness

There comes a time (usually when your child is about 2, or you have another baby) that lugging a carseat on a plane seems just plain masochistic.  That’s when you get one of these.

CARES Harness
1 year-40″ tall | air travel | lightweight

Restrains your toddler on a plane, prevents him from kicking the seat in front of him, and keeps him safe.  Best invention ever.
Triple awesome.  Restrains your toddler on a plane, prevents him from kicking the seat in front of him, and keeps him safe.

NON-ESSENTIAL, BUT NICE TO HAVE, BABY TRAVEL GEAR

1.  A travel high chair

With a little disinfecting (okay, a lot), there’s no reason you can’t use restaurant high chairs.  But what if you’re back at your condo or at the in-laws?  This is a great piece of gear, especially if you don’t enjoy handing the baby back and forth with your partner so you can both eat.

Fisher-Price Healthy Care Booster Seat
sitting-3 | car travel, air travel | compact, easy to clean

A compact, easy to clean travel high chair that can be used with and without the included tray.
A compact, easy to clean travel high chair that can be used with or without the included tray.

2.  White noise

This is a piece of travel gear that will change your life, forever.  No more naps (or nights) interrupted by ringing phones, knocking housekeepers, or loud grandparents!  The app works fine, but the machine can’t be hijacked by your child to play with other fun apps like your phone or tablet can.

Marpac DOHM-DS, Natural White Noise Sound Machine
all ages | car travel, air travel | good for napping, nights

Once you've slept with white noise, you'll never go back.  It works on kids too!
Once you’ve slept with white noise, you’ll never go back. It works on kids too!

White Noise App
all ages | car travel, air travel | good for napping, nights

It really IS a miracle.  Snoring? Sirens? Barking dogs? Pfft.  Your kids will sleep through them all.
It really IS a miracle. Snoring? Sirens? Barking? Pfft. Your kids will sleep through them all.

 

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Comments

  1. says

    I must be the only man ever to read this and think about how much I’d love to have another baby to take all over the world. The things available to our little ones has changed so much even in just a few years, just think of what they’ll have out in a few more. I didn’t even know about half of these, and it seems I need to stroll through the baby aisle with my wife soon ;)

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